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This is a new thing we’re trying out here at Wrestling Rumors and with some luck, it could be a big hit. There is a lot to the history of wrestling, back well over a hundred years and all the way up to modern times. My name is Thomas Hall and I’ve seen a lot of wrestling. Like, a whole lot of wrestling. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over nine years now and in my career, I’ve reviewed over 5,000 wrestling shows. Those shows are part of a much bigger time spent watching wrestling, during which I’ve seen at least 55,000 wrestling matches.

In other words, I’ve been around for a bit and know a thing or two about wrestling. Therefore, it might be fun to see if I can answer some questions you might have and that’s what we’re going to be doing here. Every week I’ll be posting a collection of questions and some detailed answer to each one, including either history, video evidence or whatever else is appropriate in the case. You all get to pick the questions and can ask them in the comments on the article’s Facebook post (link at the bottom).

The questions can be trivia, history, fantasy booking, or really whatever else comes to your mind. I’ll do my best to answer them in detail and maybe point out something you might not have thought of before. There’s very little I love more than talking about wrestling and I’m always up for a fun challenge so hopefully we can have a good time with this. Let’s get to it.

The first set of questions were sent in either on my website or on a wrestling forum that I operate, just to give us a starting point.

From Stone Cold Tea

1. Why does Edge get all the praise for that spear on Jeff at WrestleMania X7 when Jeff took the bump?

Well first of all, just in case you haven’t seen one of the biggest bumps of all time in a while:

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Back at WrestleMania 17, Edge and Christian, the Hardy Boyz and the Dudley Boyz finally ended their year plus three way feud in probably the biggest, most violent and arguably most famous tag match of all time: Tables, Ladders and Chairs II. The match was an instant masterpiece with six guys (plus two more men and one woman interfering) in one of the most amazing performances you’ll ever seen. Near the end though, there was a spot that is remembered far more than any other.

As seen above, Edge climbed the big ladder and speared Jeff Hardy, who was hanging from the titles, all the way down from at least twelve feet in the air. Edge and Christian would go on to win the match and the Tag Team Titles for a seventh time (a record for that particular set of belts). The spear was the biggest spot of the match and launched Edge up the ladder (pun intended), standing as the biggest spot of his career and one of the best moments he ever had.

But why is it just not a thing for Hardy? Well there are at least two reasons for it.

First of all, Edge got there first. There’s an old saying that history is written by the winners, and Edge was a top singles star a lot sooner than Hardy. The next year saw Edge move into the upper midcard, even getting a World Title shot against Brock Lesnar late in the year. Hardy basically stayed a tag team wrestler for a long time and while he was winning a few singles titles here and there, he was out of the WWE just over two years later.

Yeah remember this? Kind of a lot sooner than Hardy’s win. And with another spear too.

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Edge on the other hand became one of the biggest stars in the company far faster. The spear was one of the last great moments of his time as a tag guy and as a result, it’s seen as a landmark moment for him. Hardy would have his day, but Edge had it first and it was a lot closer to the spear than Hardy’s time on top, meaning fans associate it as an Edge moment. Also, it helps when he’s the one doing the jumping you know?

The other big reason, and it goes back with part of the first reason, is that Edge and Christian won the match. Think back to some of the biggest spots in wrestling history. Undertaker throwing Mankind off the Cell. Hulk Hogan slamming Andre the Giant. Shawn Michaels superkicking Shelton Benjamin out of the air. In each case, the person hitting the big move is the one who won the match. The same is true here, as simple as that may sound. Edge is more remembered because he’s a bigger star and his team won, simply put.

From Aeon Mathix

2. I know you are a big fan of Drew McIntyre as well as myself, so I would like to see a little fantasy booking on how you would handle his rise to the top. Can also apply to anyone who could be successful basically what in your opinion is the best way to build a wrestler from the bottom to the top?

Well how can you not be a fan of a guy like this?

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I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen such a can’t miss prospect like McIntyre. In this case though, when I say prospect I mean a 6’5 thirty three year old with seventeen years experience and championship success. Back in his first run with the company he was billed as the Chosen One and was almost ready to be World Champion when some personal issues got in the way, leading to his fall down the card.

Now he’s back, looking even more like a monster than he ever did before. The fact that he’s already such an intimidating, veteran presence is something WWE would be crazy to pass up a chance to turn him into one of the biggest starts they have. With the expansion into the UK in full swing, moving someone from the United Kingdom up the card would be an even bigger layup.

But how do you get him there? Well that depends on whether you want him as a face or a heel. We’ll start with the former.

McIntyre is the kind of face that can get over with some talking. Back in Impact Wrestling, his character was built around the idea of taking wrestling back to the fans. While I’m not suggesting that he become the new Voice of the Voiceless, there’s an idea of doing what the people want and getting them to cheer for you on the way there. McIntyre is an easy face to get behind, especially with people who have the size to not make him look huge all the time (which was a big problem for him down in NXT).

You think something like this might get him over in WWE?

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To really get the ball rolling, I’d have Ziggler turn on him (it can’t be the other way as the fans are willing to get behind Ziggler for reasons I’ll never grasp). If this is the way you go, the blowoff needs to be one match and definitive. Don’t drag this out for three months for the sake of making Ziggler look equal to him. That was a big problem with Ziggler vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and it would be a big waste of time here. McIntyre sells for a bit then kicks Ziggler in the face for the win.

After that, I’d have McIntyre go on a run of wins over whoever he can fight. As in have him out there most weeks on Monday Night Raw because he’s the kind of wrestler who wants to be in the ring whenever he can. These matches need to be kept short (five minutes at most) and end with a Claymore for the win. It’s a way to keep him out there without overexposing him. McIntyre can work a fast paced, exciting match and that’s the right call here. Cap this run off with a win over say Jinder Mahal (who always needs to be beaten down) and then it’s off to the big time.

By that I mean Brock Lesnar. Seriously do this match now. McIntyre is big enough to look like he could hang with Lesnar man to man so let him do it. You can pretty much do the same story that got Roman Reigns to WrestleMania 34: McIntyre is someone who loves to wrestle and is here every week while Lesnar picks his spots and doesn’t deserve to hold a title that represents the people that McIntyre fights for. Three Claymores later and Lesnar is vanquished, giving us a new champion who needs some challengers. Say like a Monster Among Men?

Now for the other, more complicated side: a heel run. We’ll start the same way but with a small twist: McIntyre destroys Ziggler, saying he doesn’t need an old failure like him. They have one match, where McIntyre beats him down so badly that Ziggler has to go away for a long time. When he comes back, he doesn’t look for revenge, admitting defeat (without saying it) and not going after McIntyre again.

Then I’d move him over to SmackDown where there are several different people he could feud with. Monday Night Raw really has Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, neither of whom WWE would be likely to put McIntyre over. Over on SmackDown, you have AJ Styles, all three members of the New Day, Jeff Hardy and maybe Daniel Bryan down the line. Throw in a nice US Title reign and McIntyre could be well on his way. After he holds that for about five months, move him up to the World Title and you’re off.

This is a much more traditional route but it worst best for him. SmackDown has some smaller people for McIntyre to work with and he can show off the power game with suplexes and the Future Shock in addition to just kicking them in the face. McIntyre can be a very intimidating and dominating heel, which is the key to the thing: please don’t make him a cowardly heel. It’s been done FAR too often in WWE and there’s no reason to have someone who looks like that kind of a monster look like a coward.

As for how to build a wrestler from the top, there are multiple ways to get there, but the most important thing is how you start things off. It’s a case of first impressions being what matters more than anything. Let’s take a quick look at two cases at opposite ends of the spectrum and see how that goes.

Back in 1983, Hulk Hogan returned from the AWA and took the company by storm. He returned in very late 1983 and won the WWF World Title on January 23, 1984, defeating the Iron Sheik in less than seven minutes. Now I won’t bother wasting your time with the same Hogan vs. Iron Sheik match that you’ve probably seen before. Instead, here’s Hogan’s first match back with the company. This was Hogan’s first impression on WWF television, as well as a rare instance of Hogan vs. a jobber.

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Now on the other hand we have Jinder Mahal. Remember how he came in? He debuted on the April 29, 2011 SmackDown and got into a feud with Great Khali. The matches weren’t great and Mahal’s character was “I’m wealthy and better than you”, which has been done so many times over the years. His career highlight was losing to Seth Rollins in the finals of the tournament to crown the first NXT Champion and then it was off to the comedy stable of 3MB. After losing pretty much all the time, Mahal was released in June 2014 after three very uneventful years with WWE.

Then Mahal returned in 2017 and became WWE Champion nine months later, holding the title for six months. The title reign was viewed as a near disaster by most fans, with Mahal not being up to that level in the ring and being “that guy who used to be in 3MB.” Now that’s true of McIntyre as well, but one of them has people drooling and another has them changing the channel.

The difference? Well aside from looks, talent, presence, past successes, talking ability and just about everything else, was the fact that McIntyre was treated as a big deal from the day he came in. Mahal was treated as a midcarder at best and then turned into a comedy guy. The fans aren’t going to forget that just because he has the Singh Brothers with him, just like the fans aren’t going to forget that McIntyre was awesome. If you want someone to be a big deal down the line, you can’t treat them like a goof to start.

If you do though, it’s not as simple as just throwing them out there again and acting like the past doesn’t matter. You can’t just throw on a coat of paint and expect everything to work. Build them back up a bit and maybe it can work, but you have to give the fans a reason to forget what happened before.

It all boils down to one concept: the fans are going to remember what happened before, so either don’t do it in the first place or give the fans a reason to forget about it.

From Yer Maw.

3. Why are they taking so long to reveal which member of New Day will be in the Money in the Bank ladder match? Who do you think it’ll be?

Now in case you don’t know what’s going on here, New Day won a six man tag match to qualify for the Men’s Money in the Bank ladder match at next week’s pay per view. The team got to pick which member would get the spot, but at the moment they haven’t made any announcement. People have been wondering if it’s going to be Kofi Kingston, Big E. or Xavier Woods and they’ve been asking questions:

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Well as luck would have it, I’ve already answered the second question earlier this week right here.

But as for the other question, it’s a little simpler than that. There are two ways to look at this one and it really could be either, but odds are it’s a combination of both. The first reason is WWE just might not know which member is going to be in the match yet. This is the WWE, a promotion with a reputation for changing its mind on things even during shows at times. Is it really that shocking to think that they don’t know which of the three members of the team will be included? I wouldn’t be shocked if they didn’t even know who was winning yet, let alone who will be in the match.

Other than that though, there’s the second possibility, and the one that I think is more probable: it’s just a way to add some suspense. The idea of a mystery partner or opponent is a very simple and classic way to draw interest in a match and that’s what they’re doing here again. They’re trying to make you wonder which member of the team will get the spot and potentially which member of the team will get a singles push.

New Day is a very popular team and there’s a real chance that one of them is going to be moving forward in a slightly different direction. When you have a team with this kind of a storied history (and yes they do, even after this long) and none of them are really ahead of the other two, there’s some intrigue about which member might get somewhere first. By not answering the question, it leaves some questions in fans’ mind. That leads to them talking about it with other fans and their curiosity growing. That leads to wanting to see the show, which is what such a move is all about.

If nothing else, maybe it’ll be Kofi Kingston and we’ll get to see something like this again.

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From LibSuperstar.

4. How much different would women’s wrestling have fared in the US if Vince Sr. had put his weight behind Mildred Burke rather than Moolah?

This one is a little more complicated so I’ll try to keep it from getting overly wordy.

First of all, there’s the concept in general. Back in the territory days, wrestling wasn’t quite the same. You would have wrestling promotions that didn’t venture out of their own geographical areas. Since national television was nowhere near as big of a deal as it would become today, wrestlers were able to travel around, going from territory to territory, make some money, and move on.

That was the case with women’s wrestling as well, though it was more of a troupe with a top star (usually a shooter) than individual names. Basically they would come in, work for a bit, and move on, though as more of a sideshow than anything else. They would have their own Women’s World Champion, which could be traded at will because they usually owned the rights to the title itself (which is how the original WWF Women’s Title came into existence, with Fabulous Moolah selling the rights to the company).

The two biggest troupes were headed by the Fabulous Moolah and her trainer Mildred Burke. These troupes traveled the country with way more drama than we have room to get into here. The gist of it is that the groups were all over the place with a bunch of backstabbing, deals, and horrible things being done, until the WWF decided to keep Fabulous Moolah around as their top female wrestler. She even held the Women’s Title for twenty six years (it was really about ten years, but I’m not sure how much difference that really makes).

Now as you probably know based on watching WWE in the last, oh, twenty years or so, the company LOVES the Fabulous Moolah, even going so far as to do this, which was changed all of a few days later:

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So what difference would it have made if Burke was the big deal instead of Fabulous Moolah? I wouldn’t think very much. Really, Moolah’s most famous moment back in the Rock N Wrestling Connection era was at the Brawl To End It All against Wendi Richter, but that was much more about Moolah’s manager Lou Albano vs. rock star Cyndi Lauper than anything else.

If Burke had been the name, she could have either worked the match against Richter herself or someone else could have been brought in to fight the match for her. After the match was over, Fabulous Moolah wasn’t a major part of the storyline as Roddy Piper and Hulk Hogan were brought in and they were off to the races. It just wouldn’t have made that much of a difference, as some of the names would have been different but the end goal was always Hogan vs. Piper with Richter vs. Albano getting us there. Fabulous Moolah is a legend, but it’s not like she was the only person who could have played the role.

There’s always this though, which has to be Fabulous Moolah’s biggest moment in the company.

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From #MrScissorsKick

5. Why must us (fans) wait 6 weeks between Pay-Per-Views (meaning between Backlash and Money In The Bank)?

This is another one that could have multiple answers.

These shows are booked a long, long time in advance, possibly up to a year in advance in some cases. The company goes around the country in a circle most of the time, booking television shows and house shows in and around the same areas for the sake of convenience. This is rather different than what happened back in the 1980s, when the NWA had the following travel schedule around Christmas, as Jim Cornette once mentioned on his podcast:

Night 1: Atlanta, Georgia
Night 2: Greensboro, North Carolina
Afternoon of day 3: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Night 3: Charlotte, North Carolina
Night 4: Santa Fe, New Mexico

See why it’s a little better to stay in one place?

Anyway, these shows are booked far in advance now, but there may be other groups or organizations looking for the same facilities. Consider this year’s WrestleMania week. The New Orleans Pelicans use the Smoothie King Center for their home game, but WWE used it for Takeover: New Orleans, Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live. WWE had to pick a city where there was a good sized arena, but also a time of the year where the arena would be available.

Simply put: WWE isn’t going to run an area where an NBA or NHL or college sports team or a convention or some kind of entertainment show or anything else that might rent out a major arena is going to take up the biggest arenas most of the time. They have to find a place to get in there, run their shows, and make the most money possible. Maybe they had to wait until the arena was open for multiple nights in a row.

Looking at Allstate Arena’s website, there is an opening on Sunday June 10, but Saturday June 9 is taken up by a concert. WWE likes booking these shows on consecutive nights (partially for convenience and partially for the sake of saving some money on renting the buildings) and it’s not always going to be the most convenient thing in the world for the wrestling fans.

On the other hand though, consider WWE’s schedule over the course of about six weeks:

WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans

South African tour

Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia

Backlash

European tour

That’s a lot of worldwide travel and it may be as simple as the wrestlers and company were getting a bit tired. They’ve been around the world in the span of a few weeks and at some point, you need to just get back to normal (well as normal as a wrestling company’s travel schedule is going to be) without having some big show to deal with. WWE is back on a normal schedule now and while the Money In The Bank build has been as tedious as ever, it’s better than having to rush around with one big event after another.

Here’s proof of how tired they were getting. This guy can’t even run in a straight line without needing some rest.

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From Storm Trooper.

6. What would have happened if Taker defeated Shawn Michaels at Badd Blood 1997?

This could be another long one because there’s a lot that would have changed. First and foremost (assuming the plans weren’t changed to accommodate the original booking plans), Undertaker would have gone on to face Bret Hart for the WWF World Title at Survivor Series 1997. I think you’ve heard of this one, but just in case:

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Quick recap: Badd Blood 1997 was the first ever Hell in a Cell match with Michaels being locked inside the Cell to face the Undertaker, who wanted to destroy Michaels in ways that are probably illegal to print. The two had been feuding since Michaels cost Undertaker the WWF World Title at Summerslam 1997 and the Cell match was to be the big blowoff match with the winner earning a title shot against Hart at Survivor Series 1997. Undertaker had Michaels destroyed but a certain Big Red Machine debuted, took Undertaker out with a Tombstone, and gave Michaels the unlikely win.

Now I’m not completely convinced that we wouldn’t have gotten Hart vs. Michaels anyway (it’s not like plans were ever set in stone back then) as the WWF had been trying to book a WrestleMania 12 rematch for a long time (almost having it take place at King of the Ring 1997). However, for the sake of argument, let’s say the match doesn’t take place and we get Hart vs. Undertaker instead.

That’s a big difference on its own because Hart likely would have laid down for anyone not named Michaels and went off to WCW free as a bird with a pat on the back from Vince McMahon. One way or another Hart was going to WCW, which we’ll get to in a minute. Otherwise though, the Montreal Screwjob likely doesn’t happen and it’s just a normal title change. Either way I can’t imagine it’s anything but Michaels losing the title to Steve Austin at WrestleMania 14 anyway (Austin was planned to beat Hart there anyway, so he was leaving Boston with the title no matter what).

So what would have changed then?

Well first of all we probably don’t have the Mr. McMahon character, which came about from the Bret Screwed Bret interview, turning Vince McMahon, mild mannered commentator into Mr. McMahon, one of the best villains in wrestling history. There are always other ways to get to such an end result, but how well would it have gone? The fans loved Hart and seeing McMahon screw him over at Survivor Series was the perfect way to set him up. Maybe the company doesn’t even think of the idea otherwise as there may not be a Screwjob of any form in the first place.

So does that cancel the Attitude Era? Not really, as the whole thing centered on Austin anyway. I mean, this happened in December 1997:

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I’ll just let you think about how ridiculous this sounds now.

Either way, the Attitude Era was coming because it had to. The old style of the WWF wasn’t working anymore and they were under heavy pressure from WCW. Now, with the new fire underneath them, they were ready to take on WCW at full force and there was no stopping them. WCW was always going to destroy itself in the various ways that it did and there was no way to stop all of that. Austin vs. McMahon (the only person who could have played that role as he was the real owner) was going to happen and the first Stunner to McMahon took place on Monday Night Raw nearly two months before Survivor Series.

So the WWF might not have had the same ultimate spark that it had, but there were too many positive factors to derail what had already started. Things might not have gotten as hot as they did, but you can’t stop something like a motivated Austin and McMahon with all the talent the company had underneath them.

But what about WCW?

What killed WCW has been explored, studied and discussed for nearly twenty years now. It’s one of the most fascinating topics in wrestling history, partially because of how incredible the whole thing was. You could argue forever about what the turning point for WCW was, but one of the major issues was Starrcade 1997 and the complete and utter disaster that was Sting winning the WCW World Title from Hollywood Hogan.

There are several factors to the story, but one of the biggest ones was new WCW star Hart appearing after what might have been a screwjob (not called out by the announcers in another goof) and saying “it’s not gonna happen again”. Now ignoring the obvious problems here (What if WCW fans had no idea what he was talking about? Why do we need a screwjob in what should be the biggest layup WCW has ever had? What screwjob is he talking about as it seemed to be Hogan winning clean?), this doesn’t happen with Hart not getting screwed in the first place.

What would that mean? Hogan drops the title to Sting in peace, the NWO goes away, Sting is the conquering hero that WCW has been looking for after a year and a half of NWO dominance, fans don’t get disgusted with the NWO being on top forever, the title isn’t held up for two months and Hogan doesn’t get it back in April 1998, meaning WCW survives and wrestling is changed forever.

Nah of course not, as WCW would have found 184 new ways to screw everything up and would have gone out of business anyway. The Hart issue at Starrcade 1997 was stupid, but compared to some of the other things that mess of a company did, it was really just another item on a long list. Hogan had already destroyed Sting in the match and they probably would have given him the belt back in a few months anyway.

Yes, they really would have done this two weeks after the biggest match the company ever had:

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So overall: Undertaker winning at Badd Blood 1997 wouldn’t have really changed too much. WCW was still going to WCW, Austin was still going to be the biggest star in the history of wrestling (though maybe not quite as big) and Mr. McMahon could have risen up in another way. The main change would have been Hart possibly coming back to the company sooner than the 12 plus years it took, but the Attitude Era was already set in motion. The Montreal Screwjob just got them there a little bit faster.

Thank you all for sending in your questions. I’ll be back next week with more answers and please leave some questions for me in the Facebook comments.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 27 wrestling books. His latest book is the NXT: The Full Sail Years Volume III: From Dallas To New Orleans.

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The post Ask Wrestling Rumors – June 9, 2018 appeared first on WrestlingRumors.net.

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